Located in the center of the Bikan Chiku (this is the historical and cultural shopping area), which is a short 10-minute walk from Kurashiki Train Station, you will discover the Ohara Museum of Art. The museum is tucked behind a high wall and large iron gate entrance. After purchasing a ticket, you walk up the steps and into the oldest Western art museum in Japan.
Here you will be able to view pieces of art from some of the world’s best known artists, such as El Greco, Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso and many more.
The museum has a number of services for foreign visitors: you can listen to a recorded explanation of each exhibition corner or if you plan ahead and book through the museum you can have a guide show you around.
Kurashiki entrepreneur Ohara Magosaburo founded the Ohara Museum of Art in 1930 to celebrate Japanese artist Kojima Torajiro, a Western-style painter who had died the year before. Without his vision and passion for art, this museum would never have been built. Today, the Ohara family continues to build on his love for art, and the museum works hard to give opportunities to both foreign and Japanese artists to learn, create and exhibit in this beautiful space.
After you have finished wandering around the main building, you can visit the Ohara museum shop to pick up souvenirs like postcards, replica paintings, posters, special-edition Ohara museum tote bags and an interesting collection of Japanese art and craft objects.
Apart from the main building there are a few open space areas that you can roam around, looking at statues, sitting in the garden area and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Or just take advantage of the space to take a break from the many, many shops in the Bikan area that you will be sure to visit.